When the sweltering summer heat arrives, everyone hustles to the nearest thermostat to get the cold air flowing. But the right air conditioning temp isn’t just about getting comfortable. It’s also about energy efficiency and reducing your power bills. So, what’s the right temp? The answer depends on your specific requirements and the time of day. Explore the optimal AC thermostat settings when you’re at home, out or when you are sleeping.
The Best AC Temperature When You’re at Home
The suggested daytime, at-home temperature for your air conditioner is 78 degrees. This number may seem shockingly high, but the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says it balances comfort and energy efficiency. Here are a couple of tips to help stay nice and cool at 78 degrees:
- Use fans: Whether it is a ceiling fan or a desk fan, circulating air actually makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. Plus, fans cost very little to run compared to your AC.
- Dress lightly: What you are wearing significantly influences your comfort level. Wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics helps you keep cool in the summer.
- Block out the sun: Sunlight beaming through the windows will often heat a room significantly. To keep your home from becoming a greenhouse, hang curtains or blinds to block out the sun, especially during the peak afternoon hours.
- Stay hydrated: Water consumption has a significant part in controlling your body temperature. Making sure you keep yourself hydrated boosts your body’s natural cooling processes.
- Cook smart: Cooking generates a surprising amount of heat, forcing your HVAC system to work harder, so try not to use the oven or stove during the hottest part of the afternoon. Instead, cook food in the microwave, prepare cold meals on hot days or grill outside until the weather isn't so hot.
The Best AC Temperature While You’re Away
The DOE recommends setting the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees when you’re not home for eight hours, a strategy experts say can save up to 10 percent on your cooling costs. Installing a programmable thermostat is the simplest method to save without relinquishing comfort.
This technology allows you to automatically modify the temperature at different times of the day or week based on your schedule, lowering your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The important part is to utilize your programmable thermostat properly. Here are some guidelines for taking advantage of its full power:
- Set it and forget it: Schedule your thermostat to automatically turn the temperature up about half an hour or so before you leave for work or school in the morning. Then, set the thermostat to start bringing the temperature back down so a comfortable temperature resumes just as you walk in the door when you return.
- Use the vacation setting: If you’re away from home for an extended period, use the “vacation” or “permanent” hold to maintain the “away” temperature for days at a time. This avoids too much heat and humidity buildup without throwing away energy to run your air conditioner in an empty house.
- Make gradual adjustments: Your AC works most efficiently at normal speeds. Plus, a significant 10-degree drop will not cool your home any faster. If you have to, decrease the temperature by only one degree and start up a fan or remove a layer of clothing to help you feel more comfortable.
- Leverage smart capabilities: If you have a smart thermostat, make the most of its programming capability and advanced features. Some brands can learn from your behaviors and adjust the temperature accordingly or be operated remotely for outstanding comfort and convenience.
The Best AC Temperature When You’re Sleeping
When it’s time to go to bed, the DOE suggests setting the temperature four degrees higher than your typical setting. However, a lot of people find it hard to sleep in a hot room. This makes finding the suitable sleep temperature a struggle. Thankfully, you can employ several techniques to beat the heat while you drift off to sleep:
- Sleep in lightweight pajamas and breathable bed sheets: Just like your daytime wardrobe, your choice of night clothes influences how hot or cold you feel. Your bed sheets also influence your comfort level. In both cases, light and breathable cotton is the ideal option.
- Run a fan: Just like during the day, a fan can provide a cool breeze in your bedroom in the evening, making sleep more comfortable.
- Open a window: If it cools off at night, take advantage of this by going to bed with the windows open.
- Take a warm shower before bed: It may sound counterintuitive, but a warm shower really cools you down faster than a cold shower. It does this by boosting your blood circulation, bringing heat to the surface of your skin, where it radiates away more rapidly.
Schedule AC Services this Summer in Oklahoma City
Finding a compromise between your home’s comfort and energy efficiency is sometimes difficult. Why spend all summer guessing at the ideal AC temperatures when Gordon's Service Experts can help you make the most of your system? Our trustworthy, cost-effective AC services in Oklahoma City are backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with total confidence. Call 405-432-2197 today to schedule the HVAC services you need with Gordon's Service Experts.